The Surprisingly Western Origins of ‘Traditional’ Chinese Food Delivery Containers

Great Big Story explains how the “traditional” Chinese food delivery container wasn’t an Asian idea, but instead was actually invented in Chicago and then further refined decades later in Los Angeles.

Although the box is folded style was inspired by Japanese origami, the packaging is a uniquely Western invention. In 1894, Chicago-based inventor Frederick Weeks Wilcox patented the paper pail, a single piece of paper folded into a leak-proof container fastened with a wire handle. …The in the 1970s, a graphic designer added a pagoda to the side of the box along with a faux-Asian ‘thank you’ on top.